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A brief biography of Sir George Gilbert Scott

Sir George Gilbert Scott (13 July 1811 – 27 March 1878) was an English architect of the Victorian Age, chiefly associated with the design, building and renovation of churches, cathedrals and workhouses.

Born in Gawcott, Buckinghamshire, Scott was the son of a clergyman and grandson of the biblical commentator Thomas Scott. He studied architecture as a pupil of James Edmeston and, from 1832 to 1834, worked as an assistant to Henry Roberts. He also worked as an assistant for his friend Sampson Kempthorne.[1]

In about 1835, Scott took on William Bonython Moffatt as his assistant and later (1838-1845) as partner. Over the next 10 years Scott and Moffatt designed over 40 workhouses. A notable example was the Akroydon model housing scheme.

Meanwhile, he was inspired by Augustus Pugin to join the Gothic revival of the Victorian era, his first notable work in this style being the Martyrs' Memorial on St Giles in Oxford (1841). Later, Scott went beyond copying mediaeval English gothic for his Victorian Gothic or Gothic Revival buildings, and began to introduce features from other styles and European countries as evidenced in his glorious Midland red-brick construction, the 'Midland Grand Hotel' at London's St Pancras Station, from which approach Scott believed a new style might emerge.

Between 1864 and 1876, the Albert Memorial, designed by Scott, was constructed in Hyde Park. It was a commission on behalf of Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband, Prince Albert.

Scott was awarded the RIBA's Royal Gold Medal in 1859. Knighted in 1872, he died in 1878 and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

His sons George Gilbert Scott Junior and John Oldrid Scott, and grandson Giles Gilbert Scott, were also prominent architects. He was also related to the architect Elisabeth Scott. Scott's grandfather was Thomas Scott (commentator).